Meshiaak arose out of the confusion left by vocalist Danny Camilleri straight-up quitting 4ARM just as they gained a foothold on America.
That band’s next album squeaked out last year without any fanfare at all. This beast has launched with every gun blazing.
Alliance of Thieves dials back the groove element of Camilleri’s former band a little but the over-arching touchstones are still in place – Trivium, Slayer and Metallica in particular. The album roars into life with ‘Chronicles of the Dead’, a raging thrash metal monster serving as something of a kiss-off to 4ARM. The next track is even faster before the band step back and display some versatility in writing and arrangement with the next few songs. ‘At the End of the World’ adopts a more melodic approach that calls Trivium to mind but rather than continue in that vein Meshiaak cranks up the violence again in Last Breath Taken’; closing cut ‘Death of an Anthem’ introduces acoustics and a sense of melancholy in its slow-build to a finale. With Dean Wells in the frame, the shred factor is high but with a discerning level of control that is less apparent in his work with Teramaze. Jon Dette is of course faultless in the engine room. Camilleri’s vocals are strong as they ever were, evoking Araya here and there while retaining his own character, something the band itself also manages to do despite the referential comparisons.
There’s nothing revolutionary or revelatory about Alliance of Thieves, but it does the job it sets out to do very effectively. This is a very strong debut.
1. Chronicles of the Dead
2. It Burns at Both Ends
3. I Am Among You
4. Drowning, Fading, Falling
5. At the Edge of the World
6. Last Breath Taken
8. Alliance of Thieves
9. Death of an Anthem